California is home to some serious unicellular research, and the National Institute of Health is taking notice. Bioresearch programs at California institutions accounted for a significant portion of the $7.9 million in grants which the NIH awarded to researchers studying single cells. The request for 2014 applications came from the NIH last December to fund programs related to many areas of cellular biology, including personalized treatment for diseases at a cellular level. The grants are supported by the NIH Common Fund’s Single Cell Analysis Program (SCAP) and represents a major boost for many of the 25 research teams that were chosen to receive funding.
“Cells are the most basic form of life; they make up every tissue and organ system in our bodies,” said James Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., director of NIH’s Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI). “Most cells are healthy, but this can change. They can become cancerous, get infected by viruses, undergo cycles and aging. With these awards, we are making an investment that holds promise for widespread advances across medicine.”
A trio of project groups for single-cell research
Funding opportunities within this set of grants was broken up into three distinct categories, and applications were due in March of 2014. The funding opportunities were listed as follows: “Exceptionally Innovative Tools and Technologies for Single Cell Analysis” (R21), “Revisions to Add Single Cell Analysis to Active Research Projects” (R01), and “Validation and Advanced Development of Technologies for the Study of Biological Properties of Single Cells” (R33).
The first group of project grants (R33) is reserved for validating and refining already established technologies for studying the biological properties of single cells, including detecting genetic changes in live animals and discovering how cells renew themselves and differentiate as they develop. Another group of grants (R01) is intended for pioneering exceptionally innovative new technologies, including a high definition “cell printer” and super-sensitive spectrometry that can chemically analyze subcellular components. A third group of grants adds a single cell component to already active projects, including characterizing the workings of immune cells that target leukemia and tracking environmentally-triggered changes in the genetic makeup of a formative human cell.
California SCAP recipients at a glance
Among the research programs selected for funding, nearly one-third reside at top bioresearch facilities at California academic and medical instiutions. Some notable recipients of SCAP grants at California institutions were research programs from Univeristy of California Los Angeles, UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Scripps Research Institute and California Institute of Technology. These SCAP grants were funded through the NIH common fund in collaboration with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which supports emerging technology research and development within its internal laboratories and through grants, collaborations, and training.
To read the entire list of 2014 SCAP grant recipients, click here.
Considering that so many of the 2014 SCAP grants were awarded to researchers at California institutions, doesn’t it make sense that some of the bioresearch industry's best trade shows are happening there soon? Researchers, instructors and other industry professionals will be flocking to BioResearch Product Faires™ and Biotechnology Vendor Showcase™ at campuses across California and throughout 2015 or this very reason, including shows at University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego, and University of California, Davis. For a full list of 2015 shows in the California area click here.
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. events are an excellent opportunity for lab product vendors to network with the same researchers who are receiving SCAP and other lucrative grants for their important contributions to bioresearch. These events cater to a vast array of research professionals across the academic and medical communities, and represent the premier opportunity for marketing of laboratory products. If you are a research professional or laboratory equipment vendor, consider attending one of Biotechnology Calendar, Inc.'s many California shows and take advantage of California's high concentration of research professionals and research funding.